Spring is finally here. I have been evaluating things around the farm and things overall made it thru the winter pretty good. The blueberry bushes need some dead wood trimmed out but overall look decent. Our small strawberry patch is almost a total loss. Our one and only seedless blackberry though was killed down to the crown but there are lots of new buds coming up so it is not a total loss. This past winter didn't seem to bother the wild blackberries at all. Garlic is all looking good. Potatoes are just pushing up as are onion sets. To my surprise, we had quite a few gladiolus survive the winter! Last fall turned off cold and wet early and we never got them dug up. I had already bought a new bag of bulbs to replace what we lost. What a surprise.
Earlier this month, I spent several hours with the tractor and tiller reworking a couple areas to improve drainage. With all the rain we had this week, I was able to see how things did and I am happy with the reworked areas. Much, much more drainage work needs done and actually a lot of tile work actually needs done. I will continue drainage improvements as I have time.
Most of the beds have received a quick tilling, enough to chop up crop residue. I put down 450 pounds of powdered lime along with some boron last week. I still need about another 1,000 pounds of lime spread yet this spring along with some gypsum (great source of sulfur without changing soil PH). Soil tests are needed before making adjustments and I send all of my soil samples to Spectrum Analytic in Washington Courthouse. Soil sampling is easy and cheap and really takes the guess work out of your gardens and farmland.
We have been transplanting tomatoes in the greenhouse and have over 1,000 done so far with more yet to come. This year we stepped up to larger pots for the tomatoes, going from a 3-1/2" pot to a 4" pot. We will start selling these this coming weekend. Selection is good and we try to have plants the right size to put out mid May. It is still too early to plant tender crops like tomatoes out yet. The long range forecast looks safe so far as for frost but it is still early and the soil temperature is too low. A week ago, soil temperature was still 49 degrees at less than 2" below the surface. Crops like tomatoes will not grow in soil this cold, they will not root out into it.
This is the perfect time to finish cleaning out the gardens and flower beds.